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Design Charrettes for Sustainable Communities 2nd Edition
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Design Charrettes for Sustainable Communities
July 23, 2008
Author: Patrick Condon (Island Press, 2007)
Design charrettes are one of the best planning tools in the planner's arsenal, this I've known for a while. But the details of what it takes to make a charrette successful have never been spelled out for me; I've learned from watching and experiencing mostly. So Patrick Condon's book Design Charrettes for Sustainable Communities was a welcome addition to my library - a chance to hear from an expert on how to do it right.
Design charrettes are those exhausting multi-day events where you get a very particular group of people together (designers and stakeholders, the mix depending on your purpose) and hammer out a vision or plan for an area. You just roll up your sleeves and do it. No hemming and hawing for months, just do it. It's thrilling and amazing and very tiring to be involved in one but the outcome is often a great plan that would have otherwise taken months or years to put together.
Patrick Condon, a landscape architecture professor and head of UBC's James Taylor Chair in Landscape and Liveable Environments , has organized and participated in scores of design charrettes. In this book he shares all the gritty details of why you need to have charrettes, which kind to have, and what you have to do to make them work (before, during, and after).
Although Condon has aimed to write the book to be understandable by the average citizen, his real target audience is those who have access to the funding and connections necessary to put on a charrette of the type he describes: municipal staff, politicians, large non-profit groups, etc.Read more ›